Maine

Photo: Andrew Christ

Maine has seen extreme weather events, from Arctic vortexes to unseasonably warm springs and falls extending tick season in recent years. The state’s natural resource economies such as lumber, lobster fishing and outdoor recreation are all at risk due to the state’s changing climate. The threat of this loss of heritage and identity is a major motivating factor in the state.

In order to identify key congressional races in Colorado, POW Action Fund looked at where there are a larger number of climbing gyms, breweries, colleges, outdoor retailers and other aspects of strong outdoor recreation communities with congressional districts decided by less than 10 percent. Maine’s second congressional district, covering 80 percent of the state and one of the most rural east of the Mississippi, was the first federal election to be decided by Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). Jared Golden in the race for first-place votes but ultimately came out victorious after the reshuffling of ranked-choice votes. Maine’s second congressional district holds an important place on the national stage, as well. Maine is one of two states that award Electoral College votes based on the winner of the statewide popular vote and congressional breakdowns of popular votes. Joe Biden and Donald Trump are both vying for the 2nd’s coveted elector. Furthermore, the U.S. Senate race in Maine is seen as a must-win for Democrats to have any shot of flipping the Senate in 2020. 

POW Action Fund endorsed Sara Gideon in the race for U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative Jared Golden for the 2nd Congressional seat.

SARA GIDEON

DEEP DIVE:

CARBON PRICING:

Gideon co-sponsored a bill in the Maine legislature that would have implemented a carbon price on certain fuels.

Gideon also supported regional programs such as RGGI to use market-based tools to reduce GHG emissions.

RENEWABLE ENERGY:

Gideon passed aggressive goals to reduce carbon emissions and increase renewable energy production during her time as Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives. She plans to model her time in the Senate on the work she did in the state legislature. Her campaign commitments to transitioning to 100-percent carbon-free energy include rejoining the Paris Agreement, investing in the clean energy economy, and setting “aggressive” goals to move to a completely clean renewable energy system. She has called for making drastic reductions to carbon emissions with clearly set goals, also making drastic increases to our renewable energy production, with clearly articulated goals and dates certain for both of those things.”

As a past member of the State Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, she sponsored and supported legislation to increase energy efficiency funding, enhance Maine’s solar capacity, and expand the state’s renewable energy portfolio.

“Taking bold and immediate action on climate change at the federal level is one of Sara’s top priorities.”

She has said, “Here in Maine, we took bold action to create an example for what can be done across the nation to fight climate change, move towards a clean and renewable energy system, protect our essential industries and boost our economy. That’s exactly the kind of action we need at the federal level, and that’s why I’m running.”

She has said, “Reduction of harmful, polluting carbon emissions, low-cost energy and an economy powered by clean energy is a future we all need to be fighting for.”

PUBLIC LANDS:

Gideon has committed to ensuring that “nominees to fill key environmental positions in the administration are qualified individuals who will work to protect our environment and fight climate change, not put the interests of the fossil fuel industry first.” As a state legislator, Gideon has repeatedly supported funding for and expansion of protected land in Maine. She voted to enact strong regulations to protect water from mining and to prohibit mining on public lands.

ELECTRIFYING TRANSPORTATION:

Gideon has committed to overhauling the transportation system and modernizing transportation and energy grid infrastructure.

JARED GOLDEN

DEEP DIVE:

CARBON PRICING:

Rep. Golden has not expressed views on this issue and our research is unable to determine whether or not he would support putting an economy-wide price on carbon. He has not co-sponsored legislation that would do so but has not spoken in opposition to the measure.

RENEWABLE ENERGY:

Rep. Golden supports reentry into the Paris Agreement. He co-sponsored the Climate Action Now Act, which would direct the administration to create a plan to meet the agreement’s pollution reduction goals: reductions of 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Rep. Golden supported the Clean Power Plan and has voted to defend it in Congress.

Rep. Golden has supported a number of clean energy tax credits, including the extension of the biodiesel tax credit and the creation of an energy efficiency tax credit for biomass heating appliances: “Jared is working to help Maine take advantage of its potential for wind and solar energy through tax credits and other policies.” He supports federal low-interest loans for small businesses pursuing renewable energy projects.

Rep. Golden has co-sponsored legislation that would create a research and development program for grid-scale energy storage systems.

“Maine’s potential to spur economic growth, create jobs in rural areas, and combat climate change through solar, wind, and biomass energy production is unparalleled in the Northeastern US.”

Rep. Golden had a consistent track record of supporting renewable energy development while in the Maine Legislature, including voting to build community solar projects to prevent the Maine Public Utilities Commission from imposing extra charges on solar users.

PUBLIC LANDS:

Rep. Golden supports a permanent ban on offshore drilling. He has co-sponsored legislation to prohibit new energy development leasing in New England, and voted to permanently ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: “As one of Maine’s most valuable natural resources, it’s crucial that we protect our oceans from the threat of offshore drilling.”

Rep. Golden believes in permanently protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas development: “Leasing should never occur there, regardless of how much revenue is generated.”

Rep. Golden has also supported legislation to limit or stop fossil fuel extraction on public land in Chaco Canyon and surrounding Grand Canyon National Park.

Rep. Golden supports methane emissions reductions and voted to protect the EPA’s ability to implement methane emissions regulations related to oil and gas development on public lands.

ELECTRIC TRANSPORTATION:

Rep. Golden has not expressed views on this issue and our research is unable to determine whether or not he supports electrifying transit. He has, however, spoken in opposition to Trump Administration rollbacks of auto fuel efficiency standards and has generally supported clean energy tax credits.


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